To Do's and Not to Do's as an author, blogger and thought leader

A couple of months ago, I had dinner with Jon Acuff, the uber popular blogger and soon to be author of Stuff Christians Like. We had a great conversation on several issues, and Jon asked some great questions- one of which was "what should I be aware of as a soon to be first-time author?" 
I really respect Jon's willingness to learn from others, and to seek out folks in his life that can keep him grounded. 
So here were the five big points I gave him on the issue of becoming an author and being a thought leader. But these points I think are applicable to any of us as leaders. Here you go: 

1. Actively Build a Support Network- Beware of CEO disease, the temptation to surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear. Keep honest people in your life so that you can stay grounded in the reality of your experiences.

2. Don't think You've Arrived- Banish the phrase, "I'm done" from your vocabulary. The best leaders never stop learning and see every opportunity, success or failure, as a learning opportunity.

3. Don't take yourself so seriously. You're not a big deal. Seriously. I don't care who you are. Humility is way more attractive than arrogance. 

4. Celebrate Your Rivals- Jealously is natural, but how you respond to it is not. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or secretly wrestle with jealousy, flip that emotion on its head. Find ways to celebrate your rivals and when you run into a new one, let the first question you ask yourself be, "How can I help this person win?"

5. Flow between the five stages of creative development, don't get stuck in one. Taken in concert, these five stages can be healthy, important parts of growing any creative endeavor. Isolated and obsessed on, any one of these stages can cripple your best intentions. Focus on moving between them. The key is to not just hang out in the "caretaker" stage, where you protect and defend everything you've developed, instead of returning to the "craft" stage. 

- Craft – You create something out of passion for the art of it.

- Crowd – An audience discovers you're good at your passion.

- Commission – You earn money for the thing you love to do.

- Career – You turn a passion into your profession.

- Caretaker – You protect and nurture the thing you've created, and do everything you can to "defend" your turf. A dangerous phase.